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Colin Fletcher

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Colin Fletcher
« on: October 30, 2016, 09:49:50 AM »
Moderator Note: this topic was split off from http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/gumo-general-discussion/gmnp-trip-report-oct-16-23/msg148798/#msg148798


Finally got the Colin Fletcher experience...


I'm not what you would call a traditionally religious man, but The Complete Walker is close to a sacred text for me. Fair to say it changed my life, as did all of Fletcher's books.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2016, 02:46:24 PM by RichardM »
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline backpacker56

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Re: Colin Fletcher
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2016, 01:18:39 PM »
I'm not what you would call a traditionally religious man, but The Complete Walker is close to a sacred text for me. Fair to say it changed my life, as did all of Fletcher's books.

This forum needs the option to "Reply Privately".  Is there such an option that I just am not aware of?   
I've only read "The Man Who Walked Through Time".  Fletcher's prose describing his backpacking activity is unsurpassed, in my mind; pure gold.  However, for me, his philosophizing leaves much to be desired.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2016, 07:40:21 AM by backpacker56 »
"Ah, sure, I'm a gnawed old bone now, but say, don't you guys think the spirit's gone!"

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Re: Colin Fletcher
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2016, 01:39:55 PM »
I'm not what you would call a traditionally religious man, but The Complete Walker is close to a sacred text for me. Fair to say it changed my life, as did all of Fletcher's books.

This forum needs the option to "Reply Privately".  Is there such an option that I just am not aware of?   
I've only read "The Man Who Walked Through Time".  Fletcher's prose describing his backpacking activity are unsurpassed, in my mind; pure gold.  However, for me, his philosophizing leaves much to be desired.

BP56, you can use the envelope icon at the bottom of your avatar to send private messages. Or you can go up to the very top of the page and look for "My Messages" in the header. If you click on that, you'll see, "Send Message". 
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline Jalco

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Re: Colin Fletcher
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2016, 07:12:59 PM »
I'm not what you would call a traditionally religious man, but The Complete Walker is close to a sacred text for me. Fair to say it changed my life, as did all of Fletcher's books.

This forum needs the option to "Reply Privately".  Is there such an option that I just am not aware of?   
I've only read "The Man Who Walked Through Time".  Fletcher's prose describing his backpacking activity are unsurpassed, in my mind; pure gold.  However, for me, his philosophizing leaves much to be desired.

Terrific!  Another author to explore.  Thanks, y'all!

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Colin Fletcher
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2016, 08:45:26 PM »
I'm not what you would call a traditionally religious man, but The Complete Walker is close to a sacred text for me. Fair to say it changed my life, as did all of Fletcher's books.

I've only read "The Man Who Walked Through Time".  Fletcher's prose describing his backpacking activity are unsurpassed, in my mind; pure gold.  However, for me, his philosophizing leaves much to be desired.

Terrific!  Another author to explore.  Thanks, y'all!

Definitely, Jalco. Colin Fletcher was sort of the godfather of modern backpacking. His book, The Complete Walker (reprinted in at least three updated editions over the years) first appeared in the 1960's. He also wrote several non-fiction accounts of his incredibly long trips: hiking the length of California, then the Grand Canyon, and one of my favorites - a long solo boating trip in his last years. That last is a great meditation on aging and mortality. Fletcher was a committed solo hiker and a bit of a curmudgeon, maybe even a little nutty. I tried to correspond with him toward the end of his life and thank him for his inspiration - no dice.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Colin Fletcher
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2016, 02:56:36 AM »
Fletcher was indeed the father of modern backpacking and completely influenced my style to this day.  HMoD, River is a good read and inspirational considering he walked and rafted the entire Colorado River solo at 68

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Re: Colin Fletcher
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2016, 08:29:41 AM »
Fletcher was indeed the father of modern backpacking and completely influenced my style to this day.  HMoD, River is a good read and inspirational considering he walked and rafted the entire Colorado River solo at 68


When I first read River, I was incredibly moved by the "source to sea" metaphor of life and aging. Back then it was poetry, now it's becoming biography.   :icon_eek:
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Colin Fletcher
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2016, 12:28:59 PM »
Fletcher was indeed the father of modern backpacking and completely influenced my style to this day.  HMoD, River is a good read and inspirational considering he walked and rafted the entire Colorado River solo at 68


When I first read River, I was incredibly moved by the "source to sea" metaphor of life and aging. Back then it was poetry, now it's becoming biography.   :icon_eek:
True that (the biography part)

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Re: Colin Fletcher
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2016, 01:01:56 PM »

Finally got the Colin Fletcher experience...


I'm not what you would call a traditionally religious man, but The Complete Walker is close to a sacred text for me. Fair to say it changed my life, as did all of Fletcher's books.

Hear, hear.

Re: Colin Fletcher
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2016, 01:05:31 PM »
I didn't get to Fletcher until Complete Walker III. I was so inspired i wore it out, then bought another copy. I was so curious about what changes there may have been between III and the previous versions....well, let's just say i have copies including hardcover of all four versions of that now.(I was disappointed in IV.)
"The Secret Worlds of Colin Fletcher" is a good introduction to his work for those who don't wish to read a lengthy tome.

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Offline backpacker56

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Re: Colin Fletcher
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2016, 09:25:47 AM »
(sigh) Colin Fletcher is a force to be reckoned with.  The mere mention of his name was enough to hijack the thread.  I feel compelled to say, at risk of digging my hole deeper, that my "Colin Fletcher experience" was only about the Svea 123, as he so ably describes it.  Fletcher's sense of adventure, love of the outdoors, backpacking technique, planning and problem solving, and especially his great ability as a writer, all draw me toward him.  As for the rest of The Man Who Walked Through Time, I find myself quarrelling with him all the way through.  Everything seems subordinated to his personal intuition, and in the end his great discoveries consist only of convincing himself of the preconceptions which he brought with him into the Grand Canyon.
"Ah, sure, I'm a gnawed old bone now, but say, don't you guys think the spirit's gone!"

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Colin Fletcher
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2016, 01:08:09 PM »
(sigh) Colin Fletcher is a force to be reckoned with.  The mere mention of his name was enough to hijack the thread.  I feel compelled to say, at risk of digging my hole deeper, that my "Colin Fletcher experience" was only about the Svea 123, as he so ably describes it.  Fletcher's sense of adventure, love of the outdoors, backpacking technique, planning and problem solving, and especially his great ability as a writer, all draw me toward him.  As for the rest of The Man Who Walked Through Time, I find myself quarrelling with him all the way through.  Everything seems subordinated to his personal intuition, and in the end his great discoveries consist only of convincing himself of the preconceptions which he brought with him into the Grand Canyon.
I agree with you about his navel gazing in The Man Who Walked Through Time in the later parts of the walk (his walking naked down the Tonto was fairly humorous), he gets quite introspective in River too.

I do love and relate to his camp descriptions as that is how I camp to this day albeit with newer lighter equipment.  It is his SVEA descriptions there that are dead on

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temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Colin Fletcher
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2016, 02:23:58 PM »
(sigh) Colin Fletcher is a force to be reckoned with.  The mere mention of his name was enough to hijack the thread.  I feel compelled to say, at risk of digging my hole deeper, that my "Colin Fletcher experience" was only about the Svea 123, as he so ably describes it.  Fletcher's sense of adventure, love of the outdoors, backpacking technique, planning and problem solving, and especially his great ability as a writer, all draw me toward him.  As for the rest of The Man Who Walked Through Time, I find myself quarrelling with him all the way through.  Everything seems subordinated to his personal intuition, and in the end his great discoveries consist only of convincing himself of the preconceptions which he brought with him into the Grand Canyon.

Sorry about the hijacking of your very good GUMO report, BP56.  Not really fair to you. But I will say that your well-considered comments about Fletcher make me want to go back and re-read his books, which I haven't done for a decade or so.

I'm grateful for Colin Fletcher. Not just because of his writing on the nuts and bolts of wilderness travel...though I can't even imagine how I would have become the backpacker that I am without his guidance....but also because of his musings. Granted, he certainly had his share of oddities: an obsession with hiking naked is pretty clear evidence that he was his own man, convention be damned.  :icon_eek:  And granted, he was also a loner and a bit of a curmudgeon. I see that guy in the mirror sometimes. But his musings, taken as a whole, chronologically, across the entire body of his work , form a fascinating case-study of one civilized man's relationship to uncivilized wilderness as...and this is the kicker...as he inevitably grows older and less capable. The older I get, the more I appreciate his work. I think it's time to give his books another go and see if they still have that old magic. Afterward, if I have any comments, I'll start a Fletcher Thread where we can all weigh in on the old guy.  :icon_wink:
 
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Colin Fletcher
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2016, 02:53:07 PM »
When I get back into the country and have access to my Fletcher books I have some favorite quotes I will share

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Offline dprather

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Re: Colin Fletcher
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2016, 03:16:59 PM »
Even in his "...Walked Through Time" book, he included many hints that I regularly incorporate.
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

 


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